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Turkish Twist Pose for Upper Back and Oblique Abdominals

Turkish Twist Pose

This mountain III pose offers all the benefits of rotation combined with a deep hip stretch.

Getting Into the Pose
Cross one knee over the other. Draw your feet back toward your hips. First, sit tall (figure a) and relax into the hip stretch by drawing your forehead toward your knee on the exhalation (figure b). Use the sinking breath technique (chapter 3) to help release tension. Then sit tall, and place your hands over your chest in prayer position. Rotate toward your top leg, placing your elbow on your thigh (figure c).

Holding the Pose
Inhale to lengthen; exhale to rotate. Hold for 5 to 10 breaths. Switch sides.

If one hip lifts off the floor, sit on a rolled-up yoga mat or folded blanket. If you have knee pain or difficultly stacking your knees, do a seated spinal twist instead.